LOCAL Peaches are here! (for now)

You’re probably keen to just how satisfying a perfect peach can be. Stock up and enjoy LOCAL peaches from Cornerstone Orchards in Youngstown, NY while you can – it will be a shorter season than years past due to the late frost and hail storm our area had the first weekends of May.

Here are five ways to make the most of this short (but sweet!) peach season:

1.Can them up.

What’s better than a bite of locally grown peaches? How about popping the top on a perfectly preserved can of peaches and taking a bite as you watch the first snow fall? Head to our Co-op Canning Resource page to download a canning recipe from Kathy Manley, our co-op canning master. You’ll lean how to capture the local harvest and process it to share with your friends and family in the off season.

2.Eat them with blueberries.

Take advantage of the local bounty and combine the forces of two beloved fruits into one sweet treat. Find LOCAL peaches and blueberries from Erdle Farm in Silver Creek, NY in the produce section, then head to the bulk section to snag some rolled oats – you’re basically halfway to crispy-buttery-fruity paradise. Not trying to use your oven right now? Preheat the grill and use a cast iron or dutch oven to bake dessert instead. Picture this: you’re poolside with some Blueberry Peach Oatmeal Streusel, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and a malty porter. Yeah.

3. Store them properly.

Look for peaches that are mildly fragrant and bright. They should be evenly colored, with no hint of green; if they’re picked too soon they won’t be as sweet and may not ripen nicely. The fruit should give a bit to your touch but not be too soft. Avoid fruit with soft/bruised spots.

To ripen peaches that are hard, place them in a brown paper bag for a few days. Refrigeration can make peaches mealy, but if your peaches are approaching the too-soft stage, you can refrigerate them for a day or two.  The best approach is to only purchase what you can soon use—which might be quite a lot of this perfect fruit.

4. Eat them with cheese.

‘Tis the season for porch snacking and nothing beats cheese and perfectly paired fruit. Instead of a large board, make individual cheese plates to keep things distant, yet delicious: pair sweet slices with a washed rind cheese like taleggio or Casatica di Bufala. Honey Sriracha Cashews or a spicy salami with crusty bread will round out a fun and tasty snacking experience. *Lean in, let us whisper wisdom in your ear* use any leftovers to make a grilled cheese sandwich the next day!

5. Get savory with it.

Peaches aren’t afraid of a little heat (Fiery Grilled Peach Salsa), and they certainly know their way around a pork chop or two (Skillet Balsamic Peach Porkchops with Feta and Basil). Throw them on the grill with your chicken (3-Ingredient Pesto-Grilled Chicken with Peaches) and enjoy how peaches can lend their sweet summer taste to any dish.

The co-op will carry our LOCAL peaches from Cornerstone Orchards in Youngstown, NY as long as possible and then bring in more regional peaches from Pennsylvania.